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John's First Blog

A parent’s greatest responsibility is in the raising of their child. They are expected to teach the child to be responsible, contributing members of society. They should teach them honesty, truthfulness and the courage to take personal responsibility for their personal failures. It is sad to say that with today’s young people; that this is not always so.

One of the privileges we have is to learn from those who have gone before us. I consider myself fortunate to have had a father who took the time to teach me these things. He was one of the wisest people I have ever met. He taught me that if I wanted something then I had to earn it. He instilled in me a work ethic that says “If a man pays you for 8 hours of work then it is reasonable for him to expect 8 hours of work from you”. He taught me not to steal and to be truthful and to respect my elders. These are the things that a parent is expected to impart to their children.

My father lived through both world wars and fought in the second. He served in Korea and during Viet Nam. His generation has been called “The greatest Generation”. They have so much to teach and we have so much to learn. Unfortunately, they are often cast aside in facilities so that they can live out their years alone and forgotten. So many lessons left unlearned. It is said that if we don’t learn from history then we are bound to repeat it.

I look at today’s young people and I wonder what history they will have to repeat. Technology has given them a jaundiced view of reality. They have cell phones that do everything short of the dishes. Their video games glorify death and crime to the point that they are desensitized to the tragic reality of life as they see it. They are a “microwave generation”. They want what they want and they want it now and if someone else has it then they will conspire to take it.

Today’s youth have little respect for those who have gone before them. An incident happened recently to me. I was driving down our street when a young boy about 10 years old rode his bicycle right in front of my car.  I braked hard and hit the horn, then I told him to be more careful. He touched his hand to his mouth and then hit his butt. The implication of this gesture was plain to me. Hilary Clinton tells us that it takes a village to raise a child. She is correct except that her view of village is “government intervention” in the responsibility of parenting. My father would have snatched him off his bicycle and walked him straight to his parents and if they weren’t available then he would have applied a personal lesson to his backside. Such responsibility is absent in today’s society.

As I look to the future, I must look to the past at the same time. The young people of today are the leaders of tomorrow. What is their foundation? What has formed their world view? Who was responsible for their upbringing, responsible parents or the gang on the corner? We see evidence today of numerous corporate scandals and personal failures of our corporate and political leaders. Now I know that some of these young people will rise to the top as the cream of the crop but again I ask; “What is their foundational ethic?” If they have not learned from the history of our elders then they will repeat the historical errors of their youth.

Let’s put the responsibility back in the hands of the parents not in the vice of the government. Let us apply the rod so that the child is not spoiled but instead is molded into the self-confident, honest, trustworthy and truthful adult that they should be.

-John Tyler



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